CANNABIS CULTURE – There has been over 22,400 arrests for cannabis possession in Canada since Trudeau became Prime Minister.
I derive that number from the last reported rate of cannabis possession arrests in Canada of 160 per day, or one every 9 minutes. There is no indication that the rate of arrests has slowed since Trudeau took over, with many police forces explicitly saying they are continuing to enforce the possession laws as strictly as ever. Bill Blair agrees, saying he wants pot busts to continue.
Yet according to Bill Blair, a disproportionate number of these arrests are among “minority communities, aboriginal communities and those in our most vulnerable neighbourhoods.”
So why continue to make possession arrests? How can Trudeau and Blair acknowledge that prohibition is enforced in a very racially biased manner, confirm that they are going to legalize cannabis soon, but refuse to do anything now to stop those pointless and harmful arrests from continuing to happen?
Trudeau is right when he says decriminalization isn’t the right solution for cannabis. But it is the right first step. Stopping arrests for possession and personal cultivation is the best first step towards ending the war on cannabis. Plus, allowing Canadians to grow a few plants for personal use will help to break the hold of the black market.
All Canadians should be calling upon Trudeau and Blair to end arrests for personal possession, and to end arrests for personal cultivation now.
All that has to happen is to remove possession of under 30 grams of cannabis from Schedule II of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This is actually quite an easy thing to do, and wouldn’t even require an act of Parliament. The same thing could be done with cultivation of 5 plants or less for personal use.
Of course there’s many more steps that need to be taken, and time is needed to figure out the details. But we can be more patient with that process if the Liberals make a real show of good faith now, and take these two simple but important steps without delay.